Written by Tony Di Domizio
More developments have surfaced in the apprehension of a New Jersey fugitive in Lower Gwynedd charged with attempted murder of police officers in Fort Lee Borough, NJ.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said more than $2 million worth of heroin was seized on Sept. 26 at an apartment at Madison at Hunt Club in Lower Gwynedd.
Arrested were Juan Mendez-Lazaro, 33, and Edward Ernesto Gomez-Veloz for their alleged involvement in the high-level trafficking of heroin, authorities said.
Police said Mendez-Lazaro had associations with Apartment 50 of the Madison at Hunt Club Apartments at 10 Hunt Club Trail in Lower Gwynedd.
Police said on Aug. 23, Mendez-Lazaro allegedly stole an unmarked Audi police vehicle in Bergen County, New Jersey during an apprehension there and hitting multiple officers—striking one and dragging another.
Mendez-Lazaro fled to New York City where officers were forced to end their pursuit, according to authorities.
New York City Police recovered the stolen vehicle in the Harlem section of Manhattan.
Law enforcement officials later learned that Mendez-Lazaro had ties to Montgomery County and might be hiding in the Madison Hunt Club Apartments in Lower Gwynedd Township, police said.
On Sept. 26, authorities found Mendez-Lazaro inside Apartment 50 at Madison at Hunt Club, police said. He was accompanied by Gomez-Veloz, 39.
Inside the apartment, police found $17,892 in cash and a 12-ton pressing device, police said.
The device is used to compress kilograms of heroin and cocaine.
Three vehicles associated with the defendants were found outside of Apartment 50, police said. Police executed search warrants on the vehicles which contained approximately six kilograms of heroin, valued at $2 million. One of the vehicles, a 2003 Honda Accord, had a professionally-installed secret compartment containing one pound of heroin, police said.
A loaded Glock 30 .45-caliber handgun was found in a storage unit in Philadelphia that was associated with both defendants, police said.
Both defendants were arraigned before District Judge Robert Sobeck in Blue Bell, who set bail at $3 million each, per court records. Both were sent to Montgomery County prison in lieu of bail.
Preliminary hearings are set for Oct. 9 before Sobeck.
Bergen County, NJ authorities were assisted in the apprehension by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET), Lower Gwynedd Township Police Department, the Montgomery Township Police Department, the Bergen County New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office, the United States Department of Homeland Security (ICE), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (Allentown Field Office).